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re: artistic integrity of teachers


From: gail kizis (smokealarm7_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 09 2005 - 21:04:40 PST

Hi All,
While hanging a student art show yesterday with art teachers from the other high school in our city, one of the other teachers made a comment on how nice my student's photo was and asked how he had done it. Without thinking I told her the simple process that he had researched on his own, experimented with on his own and produced in our darkroom at school on his own.
She quickly said "thanks now I will use this with my students."
I believe in sharing ideas and i borrow and adapt lots of ideas i get from conferences and off the internet.
But, I do not steal ideas from the art teachers at the other high school because we live in a small city and our kids compete against each other.
I expressed how I felt and was laughed at by her and her two colleagues.
It wouldn't be so bad except we just finished another show where their high school won 1st place for a photo that was obviously a much more mature process than a high school student could come up with on his own. That student's dad is one of the art teachers at that same high school and the kid told me himself that they took it to a professional photographer and had it printed using a special process and machine that that photographer owned. They also won for a drawing that was a copy of a photo of al capone. Nice technique but not the kid's own artistic idea. The local college where the show was held and judged clearly state in the entry materials that no work shall be plagarized in any way from another artist yet every year one of the other high school's kids wins for a drawing or painting that is copied from a photo from a magazine.
I am furious because I won't even let my kids look at a photograph they did not take to copy for a drawing, or do anything to a student's project ( i will demonstrate on a separate piece of paper only), or suggest ideas as to what needs to be added to make something better. I only ask questions to stimulate their thinking and firmly believe in artistic integrity; i.e., it is my work because i made it out of my own head with my own hands.
Am I being silly about this. I feel the other high school is cheating.
I know this is long but I need outside perspectives if you have the time to respond.